PHOENIX - There's finally some good news when it comes to Phoenix Police staffing – for years, they've been losing officers every month, but that changed in September.
In a Phoenix City Council Subcommittee meeting on Oct. 12, it was revealed for the first time in years that more officers were hired than those who left the department – just six more, but that's a start considering the department is down about 500 positions from peak staffing.
The department believes this trend will continue thanks to big pay increases approved by the city council earlier this year.
To handle the ongoing police staffing shortage, changes have been in the works. Councilors will likely decide in November if security guards should patrol eight city parks amid the staffing issues.
Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Bryan Chapman believes we'll see more of that in the future.
"We have done a number of things in bringing in non-sworn police investigators in," he said. Bringing a lot of people into the department not wearing a badge and a gun, but people in the community that can help us with a number of things – from helping with investigations, to managing traffic accidents, to being involved in community engagement. So I think from an organizational standpoint, you’ll see us add more of those positions in the future and less of the police sworn we’ve been focusing on for years and years."
Phoenix Fire also spoke about their needs in north Phoenix as average response times have grown from five minutes to now over nine minutes.